Pediatricians Fact-Check Bachmann’s Bashing of HPV Vaccine
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann during a Republican presidential debate Monday in Tampa, Fla.
Now the nation’s pediatricians have waded deep and early into the race for the presidency. In an unusual instance of political fact-checking of a candidate’s statements by physicians themselves, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a tough prescription for Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann: Get your facts straight on the HPV vaccine.
In case you missed it, she sparred with Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday night over his executive order that would have mandated vaccination of state schoolgirls against human papillomavirus, a cause of cervical cancer.
“To have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat-out wrong,” Bachmann said. “Little girls who have a potentially dangerous reaction to this drug don’t get a mulligan,” she said. “You don’t get a do-over.”
Perry defended the decision, but conceded that the legal mechanism to reach the goal should have been different.
But on the Today show Tuesday morning, Bachmann went further, telling Matt Lauer, that a mother had approached her after the debate to recount the problems her daughter had after being vaccinated against HPV:
She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection. And she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. The mother was crying when she came up to me last night. I didn’t know who she was before the debate. This is the very real concern and people have to draw their own conclusions.
When Lauer pressed Bachmann on whether she would keep pushing on the issue, she answered that it has traction “with a lot of people and we’ll see what people say.”
Not with kids’ doctors it doesn’t. In an apparent first for the national pediatricians’ group during a political campaign, the AAP called Bachmann out, though it stopped short of doing so by name.”